Participation Rates (WAS Developmental Stages of Cohousing )
From: Eris Weaver (
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2011 11:23:44 -0700 (PDT)
<warning, this is long!>

Participation is the most common issue for which communities hire people
like me. The general issue/problem seems to be how to get members who aren't
doing their agreed-upon share of the work to get with the program.

What is alternately fascinating and vexing to me is that groups then spend
endless hours coming to consensus on complicated policies and
guidelines...yet we are extremely reluctant to build in two components that
research shows are necessary for individual or group behavior change to
actually work: 
1. tracking/measuring desired behaviors and 
2. consequences, both positive and negative.

I would really like to foment some cultural change here in Coho Land around
this issue. I'm about at the point that I will no longer take on working
with communities around work agreements if they're not willing to include
these two components in their policies and implementation plans.

So, I am going to make an offer here (or I suppose you could read this as a
challenge rather than an offer):

I will give one full day of my consulting time FOR FREE to a community
wanting to work on this issue, under the following conditions:

1. The community must be at least 2-3 years post move-in. (Post-honeymoon,
in other words!)

2. My time is free but you have to pay my travel costs, feed me, and put me
up for the weekend.

3. The community has to have ALREADY AGREED that tracking  & consequences
will be part of the plan. We will work together to create the actual plan &
details, but there has to already be consensus that these two components
will be included. (If, during the workshop, anyone utters anything along the
lines of  "no, we can't do that, we don't want to be policing each other" I
will stop immediately.)

4. This will include pre-work (including some required reading for you!) and
follow-up (I'll be checking on you!)

5. I get to write about it. (I will change names, details, etc. so as to
protect your privacy.)

Any takers, contact me back-channel!
Eris Weaver, Facilitator & Group Process Consultant
Author, "Let's Talk About Money: A Conversation Guide for Intentional
eris [at]

fa cil' i tāt: to make easier

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